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Photo Gallery: Dogs Mimic Their Pets

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People looking like their pets and pets looking like their people is 100 percent real — there’s several studies done by behavioral scientists over the last decade backing this up — and German photographer Ines Opifanti makes that even more clear with her ongoing photo series, “Dog People.”

For the project, Opifanti asks owners to mimic their pets’ facial expressions. Her results are uncanny: These pets and their owners so clearly belong together!

Opifanti writes, “While I don’t believe in the common folk wisdom claiming dog owners become similar looking to their dogs over the years, I do believe that they become really, really good in interpreting their pets’ subtle mimic.”

While this may be true also, researchers believe the real reason dogs resemble their pets (and vice versa!) is that choosing a pet can trigger an owner’s parental instincts. When a person sees a “little, helpless, non-verbal creature that looks like them,” says social psychologist Nicholas Christenfeld of the University of California-San Diego to FastCo. Design, those nurturing instincts may spring into action. So a dog = a baby, and often, our children look like us.

Or hey, we attempt to look like them. There’s always the extreme case or two, like this makeup artist who transformed herself into a twin of her Siberian Husky!